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Have Mets fans ALWAYS been glass half empty types?

mlbaseballtalk
Aug 26 2005 06:56 PM

Maybe its been too many years listening to callers call up WFAN/1050 ESPN Radio, or hearing hosts like Don LaGreca and Wally Mathews talk up various issues with the Mets such as :

1) Anytime the Mets trade or just simply chose not to sign a young prospect and/or a popular player that player will go on to have a successfull Major League career

2) Anytime the Mets trade for and/or sign a big name talent its always a year too late and that player begins a decline as a Met

3) Conspiracy theories about various moves that have been made due to various political, social, and economic reasons rather than flat out baseball reasons (some of the more popular ones are the trade of Kevin Mitchell due to his being a bad influence on Doc and Darryl and various theories on why the Wilpons wanted no part of ARod)

4) The Fallacy of the Predetermined Outcome allways pops up as someone like Don LaGreca would say that the recent explosion in Arizona would be without fail followed by losing three straight shutouts in San Fran because "a Met fan is trained for this kind of thing, especially the 2005 Mets" Leaving no room for hope that maybe the team has broken out of the visious cycle, its like when Joe Beningo of WFAN said he would have wanted the Redsox to get swept by the Yankees rather than be on the edge of his seat during the rest of the series (which the Sox won of course) because he (a Met fan) wouldn't want to go through knowing that his team was just teasing him AGAIN

5) And during the last ten years it seems a major topic is the Met fan "whining" about either the MFY being such a high payroll team saying that the Mets just can't compete or the fact that the Mets are playing in the same town as the Yanks, yet play with a small market mentality

So, have Met fans really been this pessimistic all along, or is this just a by product of a "fringe" segment calling radio stations and/or posting on internet places.

Steve

G-Fafif
Aug 26 2005 07:10 PM
Re: Have Mets fans ALWAYS been glass half empty types?

mlbaseballtalk wrote:
Maybe its been too many years listening to callers call up WFAN/1050 ESPN Radio, or hearing hosts like Don LaGreca and Wally Mathews talk up various issues with the Mets such as :

1) Anytime the Mets trade or just simply chose not to sign a young prospect and/or a popular player that player will go on to have a successfull Major League career

2) Anytime the Mets trade for and/or sign a big name talent its always a year too late and that player begins a decline as a Met

3) Conspiracy theories about various moves that have been made due to various political, social, and economic reasons rather than flat out baseball reasons (some of the more popular ones are the trade of Kevin Mitchell due to his being a bad influence on Doc and Darryl and various theories on why the Wilpons wanted no part of ARod)

4) The Fallacy of the Predetermined Outcome allways pops up as someone like Don LaGreca would say that the recent explosion in Arizona would be without fail followed by losing three straight shutouts in San Fran because "a Met fan is trained for this kind of thing, especially the 2005 Mets" Leaving no room for hope that maybe the team has broken out of the visious cycle, its like when Joe Beningo of WFAN said he would have wanted the Redsox to get swept by the Yankees rather than be on the edge of his seat during the rest of the series (which the Sox won of course) because he (a Met fan) wouldn't want to go through knowing that his team was just teasing him AGAIN

5) And during the last ten years it seems a major topic is the Met fan "whining" about either the MFY being such a high payroll team saying that the Mets just can't compete or the fact that the Mets are playing in the same town as the Yanks, yet play with a small market mentality

So, have Met fans really been this pessimistic all along, or is this just a by product of a "fringe" segment calling radio stations and/or posting on internet places.

Steve


I think part of this is the cumulative effect of post-1986 failures in terms of not winning series, not making playoffs and not having personnel moves pan out; part of it is a perverse desire to take part in the fan-victim culture (one that lends a touch of romance and greater purpose to having been a diehard for a team that "never wins") and part of its the magnification by megaphone of the outlets you describe. Having the Yankees around doesn't help either, particularly for those too young to remember the two extended periods when the Mets were the bigger deal in New York.

Traditionally and mythically, we're the team whose fans never give up. Funny how that translates in real life.

At the risk of double-plugging myself, I wrote a piece on the ever-popular gothambaseball.com on fans who insist they've got it worse than everybody else:

[url]http://www.gothambaseball.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4852[/url]

Good question(s).

Willets Point
Aug 26 2005 07:13 PM

I always thought, at least until recently, that Mets fans were generally optomistic, enduring years of bad play but looking for the miracles that have occurred in Mets history. Perhaps that doesn't hold so much these days, but that was actually part of the draw for me as a kid.

cooby
Aug 26 2005 07:17 PM

I am a glass half full (or even more) Mets fan. Though I can remember lots of laughs (derisive laughs) with my dad at terrific players who came to the Mets and were suddenly human, til we came to expect that.

But that is changing now

Elster88
Aug 26 2005 07:47 PM

There are some that claim Met fans are brain-dead automatons that will believe any collection of scummy washed up vets are capable of winning the World Series if they are told so by the Met front office.

TheOldMole
Aug 26 2005 07:48 PM

What's changing? You're no longer a glass half full fan?

Say it ain't so. There are so few of us.

cooby
Aug 26 2005 07:51 PM

No the George Foster Syndrome finally seems to be clearing out some.

I still laugh when I think about my dad talking about George Foster. I'll have to bring him up in the conversation some day, Dad loves to talk about him...

Valadius
Aug 26 2005 07:58 PM

Heh... my Marlins fan grandpa once said that Dontrelle Willis was a "flash in the pan". My dad loves needling him about that.

mlbaseballtalk
Aug 26 2005 08:01 PM

cooby wrote:
No the George Foster Syndrome finally seems to be clearing out some.

I still laugh when I think about my dad talking about George Foster. I'll have to bring him up in the conversation some day, Dad loves to talk about him...


Also I think that in terms of its widespread amonst Met Nation gets more attention over the last ten years because it appears the opposite is true when it comes to Braves and MFY where Met fans will see a player don the pinstripes and the Tomahawk and all of a sudden rejuvinate a career and/or sustain their pattern of excellence

I've heard examples of the opposite side of the Foster Syndrome approach as well as Met fans (like Don LaGreca) have stated that "You KNOW that once Tom Glavine leaves New York he will revert back to his old 20 wins per year self" even though that hardly ever happens and said player really is done (Foster, Alomar) or the player just plays out the rest of his days as a role player (Carlos Baerga, Gary Carter)

Steve

mlbaseballtalk
Aug 26 2005 08:20 PM

Actually something kind of interested me to wonder about this topic was an exchange on 1050 ESPN radio with a Met fan and a Yankee fan whom rooted for the opposite football squads. Don LaGreca the Met/Giant guy and Brandon Tierney a Yankee/Jet guy and LaGreca was making a point, where it may have been the Met fan in him talking, that the Jet fan would see the negative in anything.

Example he used was, say the Jets win a huge, meaningfull, emotional game against a division rival, and the next week played a team that was 1-12. LaGreca said that a Jet fan would be setup for them to lose that game because "thats the kind of game the Jet franchise will always lose" while Brandon took the opposite approach saying "Come on, you should expect to win every game in a situation like that" basically taking a "Yankee fan" attitude approach to the situation.

Now LaGreca fields calls on a Jet pre/post game show, Tierney only fills in every now and then, so it may be a product of LaGreca hearing that "fringe" element calling up whining week after week, and the majority of Jet Nation really would feel that the Jets should crush that 1-12 team, even if its December

I don't know, maybe it boils down to who you root for as well as your baseball team.

Maybe its just the type of person you are in life as well. I.e. LaGreca projects an image of a grumpy, cranky big man whos teams and life has left him down plenty of times (he is approaching middle age and just is getting married) while Tierney projects a full of life and happy persona (graduated from college about a decade ago), kind of a "lets get in that foxhole when the chips are down and stop complaining" kind of attitude (he actually did that kind of rant the day after Pennington first went down, where he said on the air that Jet fans should still hold their heads up and be on full throttle into the season) Basically Tierney doesn't seem like a guy who will get real down (especially on the air) when his team is stinking up the joint while LaGreca would, and damn nearly killed himself with a rant after the 49ner playoff game collapse a few years back

Steve

cooby
Aug 26 2005 08:38 PM

That's an interesting theory.

I am not sure that I could say I am a glass half full person in real life, though I do stay that way when it comes to the Mets.

Frayed Knot
Aug 26 2005 10:36 PM

I maintain that Met fans have, in recent years, taken whining pessimism to new levels. Frustrated by the successes of the Braves & Yanx and egged on by talk radio (and, yes, internet chat rooms) fans now find plenty of reinforcements for the idea that their team is uniquely subject to horrible fates and circumstances.
Of course in reality, ALL fans think this way because you only tend to remember and internalize things like getting beat by weakling opposing hitters, late inning blown saves, etc, when they happen to your team. Fans just tend to vocalize it more when things aren't going well.

WFAN's Joe Benigno is the patron saint of this sort of thinking. He cries daily for instance about how the Mets give up more hits on 2-strike counts than any other team in the majors yet I highly doubt he has a single piece of data to back that up. It's just that he doesn't live & die with any other baseball team. Not surprisingly, Joe's other teams (Jets, Knicks & Rangers) also suffer cruel fates that are unknown to fans of other teams not to mention that they're all picked on unfairly by umpires & refs (or so he seems to think).

Edgy DC
Aug 26 2005 10:47 PM

Fatalism is unintelligent.

Hawking baseless conspiracy theories is paranoid and often self-aggrandizing.

Virtually all fatalism and consiracy hawking is quickly forgotten once the predictions they produce don't bear fruit.

mlbaseballtalk
Aug 26 2005 10:59 PM

Valadius wrote:
Heh... my Marlins fan grandpa once said that Dontrelle Willis was a "flash in the pan". My dad loves needling him about that.


HA. Still too early to tell though. Generation K wasn't as dominant as Dontrelle is, but they did perform in the majors before going to pot (no pun intended considering Met farm system hurlers after those three) And only Izzy rebounded nicely when moving to the pen and less frantic environments

But the most cautionary tale for any Marlin/D-Train fan has to be Kerry Wood (more so than Doc Gooden's tale) I mean back in 98 Cub fans and the media were proclaiming him as the next in the line of Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens

Ah the fickle hands of fate...

Steve

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 26 2005 11:10 PM

Met/Giant and Jet/Yankee fans just ain't right. Theyre like, inbred or something.

mlbaseballtalk
Aug 26 2005 11:12 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Met/Giant and Jet/Yankee fans just ain't right. Theyre like, inbred or something.


LaGreca is from Jersey, Tierney straight outta Brooklyn.

Doesn't explain it much, probably latched on to certain players growing up and/or family reasons

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 26 2005 11:16 PM

The little I'd heard of Brandon Tierney has convinced me he's an idiot's idiot.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 27 2005 04:46 AM

How about the theory that the Mets have in recent years actually become--ah, skip it.

smg58
Aug 27 2005 08:07 AM

Well, have Mets fans had any reason to be optimistic until recently? If the Mets were consistently winning 90-100 games, we'd be brimming with optimism.

cooby
Aug 27 2005 08:16 AM

I stay optimistic about the Mets because I have been around long enough to know that anything can happen

G-Fafif
Aug 27 2005 03:45 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Met/Giant and Jet/Yankee fans just ain't right. Theyre like, inbred or something.


My dad was a football Giants fan when I was coming of age, so to the extent that I liked football, I was a Giants fan who never hated the Jets. (He didn't much care about baseball and I found the Mets on my own.) The Shea connection between the Mets and Jets actually turned me off to the Jets for a number of years. What business did they have using our baseball stadium for football? I softened on that around 1978 when the Jets changed uniforms and became in football what I could never be in baseball, a "New York fan". I've remained so ever since. Like my dad, I've veered a little more to the Jets in the past decade. Win or lose, they're just more interesting. Besides, it's only football.

I long ago gave up on trying to link baseball preferences to those in other sports. I know Yankees fans who like the Jets, the Ravens or the Redskins, and Mets fans who go for the Dolphins, the Bucs or the Saints.

Football should start the week after the World Series. Then I wouldn't resent it so much.

OlerudOwned
Aug 27 2005 03:49 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Met/Giant and Jet/Yankee fans just ain't right. Theyre like, inbred or something.
Not neccisarily, it depends on how long the ties to the teams run. Families who rooted for Giants/(football)Giants or Dodgers/(football)Giants who later became mets fans because of their Yankee hatred being one example. Plus, there's the Jet fans sick of losing and hopping on a Yankee bandwagon in the 90s.

Edgy DC
Aug 27 2005 04:01 PM

Until I fell off the NFL merry-go-round completely over a decade ago now, I was like Greg.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 27 2005 04:25 PM

I have no business talking about football, so pay no attention to my posts on the subject.

mlbaseballtalk
Aug 28 2005 10:21 AM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
I have no business talking about football, so pay no attention to my posts on the subject.


LOL! Don't worry. Sure the majority is probably Yankee/Giant and Met/Jet but yeah, the NFL, especially since the merger and thanks to a national TV package that gave you a chance to watch all the best teams, is skewered towards having fans of every team in every market. You can grow up in NYC and be a Dolphin fan or a Cowboy fan and never spend a day of your life in those cities.

I guess football is just an easier sport to follow out of town teams in that regard, although with the advent of the internet, and satilite TV's "Every Out Of Town Game" packages I wonder if this is starting to become more and more prevelant in the leagues where they play everyday rather than once a week

Steve

MFS62
Aug 28 2005 10:38 AM

On Monty Python's Flying Circus, they used to have a running gag about how you don't expect the Spanish Inquisition.

Jet fans do.

The American Football showed me the way toward the Mets. Yes, that league showed me that you could have fun rooting for upstart new teams ald leagues. When I heard that the AFL was being formed, I decided to see how it was, and became a fan not only of the new lwague but of the Titans (now Jets).
So, instead of trying to retrofit my baseball fandom into an existing franchise, I eagerly waited for those New "Metropolitans".

So it was logical that I rooted for the Islanders (a young expansion team) and the Nets (born to that new American Basketball League).

Still do.

Later